Gorbachev: New Russia – historical lessons and perspective for 2016

Russia’s place in the world has relevance for  many challenges faced by the international community. Mikhail Gorbachev who provided a peaceful opening for world cooperation many years ago, has again shared his perspective in his recent book published May 23, 2016,


I speak a little Russian and have traveled there twice. This book gave many details that I found helpful to begin to understand the complicated series of events of the past decades.. Some initial press in west seemed to gloat that it was partially a critique of current Russian leadership. But it also illustrates missed opportunities by other western leaders in dealing with the Russian Federation

Gorbachev is still at it. His faith in humanity continues to fly.

What comes across most clearly in Gorbachev’s latest book is his ideas and values… not  just of the past, but also what to keep in one’s heart –beyond the short term interest of nation or individual. He continues to champion, good governance, transparency and high expectations for his country and all those nations that wish to not only survive but improve our world home.

His personal experiences over the past fifty+ years, which he shares in this book gives some indication of why it is difficult to make substantial integrated progress. I was reminded of Sri Aurobindo Ghose’s book “The Ideal of Human Unity” written before 1918. It was an amazing critique of the major political systems being tried or proposed in the first part of that century. The author only had to update the introduction in 1950 after WW2. His earlier examples still illustrated that no system is perfect for all situations. For any approach to be ultimately sustainable there needs to unity but not crushing uniformity. There must be free expression for individual members and flexibility for the system to adjust. Otherwise an inner force (of creativity?) will attack the ridged structure from within or without.

Gorbachev takes us from the 1950’s to the new century. Those interested in considering how to proceed in whatever system they find themselves (or are contemplating) would be well served by reading this book closely. He notes that always there are choices and learning can only take part when one patiently observes. 

The book concludes with an interview published in the Russian edition of Esquire, September 2012. His sweet and potent memories there of his main supporter, confidant and wife Raisa Maximovna says so much The final quote from Mikhail Gorbachev is “Life teaches you more than any teacher”
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About adhiratha

I joined the UN Secretariat in 1973 and UNICEF in 1974. During 2005-2006 I was on loan from UNICEF to UN Secretariat for special projects and between 2007 to 2010 was a consultant specialist for UNFPA. Have also been consultant or unpaid volunteer for various NGO's . My fathers favorite quote from Sri Chinmoy was : "There is only one perfect road and that road is ahead of you ,, Always Ahead of you...". Association with organizations that seek to implement the UN Charters goal of practical "oneness" feels like an inner connection or reality that is not time or position bound.
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